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Published on January 18th, 2012 | by Greg


Turtle Beach X12: Comfortable Xbox 360 Sound At A Great Price

The Xbox 360 comes with a head­set, so why would you want to shell out some dough to re­place it? Let us count the rea­sons: it’s quite un­com­fort­able. The head­band is too tight and small, with no re­al padding. The earcups are tiny and poor­ly cush­ioned. And the sound qual­i­ty- let’s just call it pass­able and move on.

Tur­tle Beach prac­ti­cal­ly in­vent­ed the head­set cat­e­go­ry, and has plen­ty of cool stuff on the hori­zon that we saw at CES last week. But un­til their new toys are out, we’ve been en­joy­ing the re­cent­ly re­leased Tur­tle Beach Ear Force X12. It isn’t fan­cy- not many bells and whis­tles are on of­fer, like some of the oth­er head­sets that we’ve seen. But un­less you’re a pro gamer and com­fort­able shelling out big bucks on your head­set, this is a great val­ue. Al­so, like many Xbox head­sets, this one can al­so be used with a PC.

The style is a straight-for­ward mat­te black and green, and the de­sign won’t earn many looks, but isn’t dis­tract­ing or over­ly-lo­goed ei­ther. And the build qual­i­ty is de­cent- slight­ly bulki­er than we like for longer gam­ing ses­sions, but this is off­set by some pret­ty heavy-du­ty cush­ion­ing on the head­band and the large, com­fort­able earcups. For those with small­er ears, these might be an over-ear so­lu­tion; for oth­ers the oval shape may ir­ri­tate you or feel nice­ly snug on-ear. Ad­justable bass is nice, and there is plen­ty of bass on of­fer. And the mi­cro­phone is sur­pris­ing­ly good, quite ad­justable, and folks on the oth­er end re­port­ed clear and crisp au­dio with no feed­back or dis­tor­tion.

Sound sep­a­ra­tion isn’t great, so sniper shots can be a bit dif­fi­cult to pick up and track quick­ly. And the mi­cro­phone mon­i­tor­ing fea­ture is a bit of a mixed bag- you can hear your­self speak through the head­set, which can be dis­tract­ing- some peo­ple liked it, some re­al­ly didn’t, and we wish that we could turn it off. The ca­bles, though, are plen­ty long, which was a nice bonus.

Over­all, the X12s are a good starter en­try for oc­ca­sion­al gamers and younger folks with­out a lot of cash. At $50 or so, they’re easy to like and make a great gift!

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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